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ISSUE #2 / 27 September 2018

By Plan International EU Hub

The EU’s commitment to securing access to education in times of emergencies and protracted crises for all children, especially girls and children with disabilities

Christos Stylianides

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management

Education is the foundation for everything else. This is my core belief.

Education is also a fundamental right and an important tool for protection in humanitarian crises. Regrettably and despite its importance, access to quality education is being denied to tens of millions of children by increasingly protracted conflicts, forced displacement, violence, climate change, and disasters. As a result, we have sadly witnessed lost generations affecting the stability and development of entire regions. We have no other option but to address this major issue head on. We owe it to all vulnerable children around the globe.


On the global level, and whilst education in humanitarian contexts, still remains underfunded and under prioritised, the European Commission has consistently stepped up funding to education in crises in the last few years. When I took up office at the end of 2014, education amounted to 1% of the humanitarian budget. Today 8% of our humanitarian funding (EUR 86 million for 2018) is dedicated to education in emergencies, considerably above the global average of less than 3%. By the end of this year, EU funded projects will have supported over 5.5 million girls and boys around the world. And this is only our humanitarian support. Development cooperation and instruments like the different EU Trust Funds (for example the Madad trust Fund for the Syria crisis) are devoting significant funding to education. Of course, this requires increased coordination to make sure our funding is most effective and complementary. 


As of 2019 I have committed to increase our commitment to 10% of the humanitarian budget. This is to allow EU responses in situations where no other EU instruments can act or would be slower to act. In emergencies access to education can be life-saving, being a strong shield protecting girls from early marriages, teenage pregnancy, and recruitment into armed groups and trafficking and exploitation. It is an investment into our future. Prioritizing education is a path I will continue to follow.


With the first ever policy document on education in emergencies, adopted by the European Commission in May 2018 , we have created a framework dedicated to education in emergencies and crises, showing the EU's commitment to leaving no-one behind.

Read the full article
Watch the video

Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from the Lake Chad Basin

Despite the challenges they face, adolescent girls in the Lake Chad basin demonstrate resilience, entrepreneurial skills, a commitment to hard work, a desire to help others, optimism for the future and insightfulness – attributes essential for any society if it hopes to transition towards a peaceful, prosperous and secure future.

This report seeks to highlight both the sites of insecurity for adolescent girls, as well as the ways in which they respond and continue to strive towards building safer communities for themselves and those around them.

Read more
Register here to join us for the Global Girls' Summit

EWAG presents

On 9th October at Cinema Galeries in Brussels - to mark the International Day of the Girl Child, the United Nations, European Week of Action for Girls, Mission of Canada to the EU and The Embassy of Ireland present 'The Breadwinner'. More information and online registration here.

BruxELLES: 14 young people take pictures of the Belgian capital to illustrate sexual harassment in public spaces

An exhibition by and for young people
From North to South, from East to West of Brussels, teenagers express their opinion and give a voice to young people on the issue of sexism in public spaces. Their goal: to challenge political decision-makers to act to make public spaces safer for girls. As both leaders and activists, the youth photographed hundreds of locations and situations, staged or witnessed.


Sexism in public space
Through their images, young people share their experience of sexism in public spaces. Girls live it every day. In public transport, in the streets, on the way to school ... Boys too.


One clear message
Becoming true activists, they speak to local decision-makers: "Listen to us, let us participate in politics and build together a more egalitarian and safe city for all". In their looks and voices, we see the motivation to continue to break the taboo of harassment, to question the trivialised sexist behaviour and to persuade everyone to commit to the fight against sexism in the world.


“It is difficult for some girls to talk about verbal harassment situations. On the one hand, we tend to think that it is not important: we are alive and physically well. On the other hand, we cannot stop thinking of the words that hurt us. We feel very lonely and dirty”

Copyright picture: Plan International
This project was realised with the support of Canon and the Brussels-Capital Region
Note, all photos are either staged or witnessed

Gender equality: Picture it!

Since 2015, UN Women together with the European Commission, the Belgian Development Cooperation and UNRIC has launched comic and cartoon competitions in the EU, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ukraine on the theme “Gender Equality: Picture it!”. Young artists and art students aged 18 to 28 were invited to illustrate their understanding of gender equality. The Girls’ Rights Gazette is happy to feature a cartoon from Damilola Alabi from Nigeria in this edition!

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Girls' Rights Gazette

Girls’ lives and lived realities deserve to be front page news, but too often they are invisible and unheard. The Girls’ Rights Gazette is dedicated to highlighting the realities girls around the world face in the pursuit of their rights, as well as demonstrating the transformative power of girls and women as drivers of change and development. It is produced by Plan International EU Office for the European Week of Action for Girls 2018. If you would like further information about this publication, please contact the editor.

Editor: Ischi Graus Ischi.Graus@plan-international.org
Design: Kapusniak Design hello@kapusniakdesign.com

Copyright: Unless otherwise stated, text and images are copyright of Plan International. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior permission of Plan International EU Office.

Plan International

The European Week of Action for Girls is held under the patronage of:


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